US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

The Jerusalem Post


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"Liberman quits as defense minister: Gaza ceasefire 'surrender to terror'"

Der erneute Waffenstillstand in Gaza hat den Rücktritt von Verteidigungsminister Liberman und damit eine israelische Regierungskrise ausgelöst. "Liberman's announcement came less than 24 hours after the cabinet approved an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Hamas in Gaza. While the Prime Minister's Office said that cabinet ministers had unanimously agreed to the decision, four ministers declared that they had opposed the cease-fire — Liberman, Jerusalem Affairs Minister and Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin (Likud), Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi). (...) Weeks earlier, during a meeting of his Yisrael Beytenu faction, Liberman called for a stronger approach to Hamas. 'There is no path to an agreement with Hamas,' he said. 'We will not restore quiet and calm to the South without dealing the most severe blow we can.'"

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"What was the IDF doing in Gaza and is a new war brewing?"

Israelische Spezialkräfte haben am Sonntag bei einer Operation innerhalb des Gazastreifens mehrere Palästinenser getötet. Nach Ansicht von Yaakov Katz wird das Militär erklären müssen, warum es den Waffenstillstand mit der Hamas aufs Spiel gesetzt habe. "What was so important that Israel was willing to endanger the ceasefire for it? To answer that question, the IDF will have to provide some details about the operation. Was it carried out to gather intelligence, to kidnap someone, to sabotage something or to assassinate someone? The results of Sunday night’s operation won’t help Israel if the current round of violence escalates into a full-fledged war. Israel will be blamed for sparking the conflict. (...) How this develops will depend to a large extent on Hamas and its response. As of three hours after the botched operation, Hamas was retaliating with rocket fire throughout the South but not farther, meaning that it could potentially decide to contain the incident with the overnight rocket attacks and end it there. On the other hand, it could decide to continue to escalate the situation. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to cut short his trip to Paris, is an indication that for Israel, anything is possible."

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"With the Kurds who are fighting the elite IRGC"

Zach D. Huff hat für seine Reportage kurdische Gruppen im Iran, die den Kampf gegen die Revolutionären Garden wiederaufgenommen haben, als eingebetteter Journalist begleitet. "After a two-decade long hiatus from offensive operations, PDKI [Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan] has announced its reemergence in recent months with a string of battles against Iranian forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). This should bring it to the forefront of America’s strategy to counter Iran. The PDKI’s recent clashes with the IRGC deal a heavy blow to Iranian public perceptions of the regime’s invincibility. And in the Middle East, perception is everything. (...) The time to assist Kurdish groups in Iran is now, but the success of pro-Iranian parties in Iraq’s May election means they are under pressure to desist from continued action emanating from Iraq’s border. They also meet increasing hostility from Turkey, as the relationship between Ankara and Tehran grows over joint opposition to US policy in Syria. Washington has been reticent to mention the Kurds of Iran specifically when detailing Teheran’s abuses. This indicates that Kurdish activists have an uphill struggle ahead of them to convince the US and others that their goal is realistic."

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"Russia to provide S-300 missile defense system to Syria within two weeks"

Russland will Syrien nach dem Abschuss eines russischen Militärflugzeugs mit dem modernen S-300-Raketenabwehrsystem ausrüsten. Das neue System würde israelische Kampfflugzeuge bei ihren Angriffen in Syrien Anna Ahronheim zufolge erheblich stärker bedrohen als die bisherigen Abwehrmaßnahmen der Regierung in Damaskus. "Syrian air defenses are largely antiquated Soviet-era systems, with SA-2s, SA-5s, and SA-6s as well as the more sophisticated tactical surface-to-air missiles such as the SA-17s and SA-22 systems. Moscow has also supplied the short range Pantsir S-1 to the Assad regime. The advanced S-300 would be a major upgrade to the Syrian air defenses and would pose a threat to Israeli jets on missions as the long-range missile defense system can track objects, such as aircraft and ballistic missiles over a range of 300 kilometers. (...) Moscow had refused to supply the surface-to-air missile system to Syria a few years ago after taking into account the pressing request of some Western countries. [Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu] stated Monday that the situation surrounding it’s deployment has since 'changed through no fault of Russia,' and stressed that if measures taken by Russia following the downing of the reconnaissance plane 'failed to cool hotheads, we will have to respond in line with the situation.'"

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"25 years after Oslo, the US pressures Palestinians to give up a lost war"

Nach Ansicht von Ziva Dahl versucht US-Präsident Trump mit seiner aktuellen Nahost-Strategie die Palästinenser davon zu überzeugen, den Kampf in einem bereits verlorenen Krieg aufzugeben. "President Trump’s predecessors rewarded the Palestinians for bad behavior and inadvertently fueled their will to fight on. Trump has warned the Palestinians that the US will no longer acquiesce to Palestinian intransigence and that violence will cost them dearly. He is methodically discarding Palestinian demands that pose unique obstacles to peace – the right of return and status of Jerusalem – which Oslo never addressed. Former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren observed, 'Each time they refused to negotiate in the past, the Palestinians were rewarded... But now the US will punish them.' [Historian and Middle East Forum president Daniel Pipes] suggests that Washington, working with Jerusalem, should convince the Palestinians of the futility of their rejectionism. He outlines steps to destroy their will to fight and promote a genuine acceptance of Israel."

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"View from the Gaza front: Is the IDF acting legally?"

Yonah Jeremy Bob lehnt in seiner Analyse der Eskalation der Gewalt an der Grenze zu Gaza eine vorschnelle und einseitige Verurteilung der israelischen Seite ab. "Digging beneath the narratives of both sides, it seems then that in terms of the rules of engagement, the Gaza border crisis is not one confrontation with one set of rules, but can be divided into at least three periods. In the early stages of the confrontations, the IDF asserts that it was following international law and exercising degrees of restraint in using lethal force, but it was also trying to send a message to Palestinians not to approach the border. (...) During this second stage, there were rounds of confrontation with no deaths, or with one incident of death, which was clearly identified as Palestinians trying to plant plastic explosives. That stage ended on Monday. With the IDF facing a significant increase in organized violence from the Palestinian side, it entered a third stage in which it appears to have been at least as aggressive in using live fire as it was early on, if not more aggressive. (...) just from watching the confrontation up close on Monday, it was clear that there is nothing simple or black and white about the situation, and compared to global media coverage, there is far more than meets the eye."

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"What Netanyahu's speech about 'Iran's lies' means for the nuke deal's future"

Yonah Jeremy Bob schreibt, dass sich sowohl die Gegner als auch die Befürworter des Atomabkommens mit dem Iran durch die Präsentation von Premierminister Netanjahu bestätigt fühlen dürften. "If you were against the deal and furious that Iran never came clean, this is your smoking gun to end it. (...) if you supported the Iran deal, what would stick out tonight was that as awesome as the Mossad’s spying reach may be, it did not catch a smoking gun – that is, it did not reveal a plan to violate the deal itself in the future, but only possible violations of past activity on which some individuals and agencies disagree. In that sense, while Netanyahu’s speech and the Mossad’s success is one for the history books, the future of the Iran deal will likely be decided by the same constellation of issues that have existed until now."

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"Land Day Protests could turn into an Israeli diplomatic debacle"

Auch Yaakov Katz warnt in seinem Kommentar für die rechtsgerichtete Jerusalem Post, dass die vielen palästinensischen Toten und Verletzten in Gaza für Israel zu einem "diplomatischen Debakel" führen könnten. "On the one hand, the IDF’s mission was to stop Palestinians from breaching the border and violating Israeli sovereignty. To do that, force was needed and as of Friday night, Palestinians reported 16 dead protesters. While that might have achieved the mission of preventing infiltrations, it has the potential to defeat the ultimate objective of making it clear to the world that Israel is not the aggressor and not the instigator. (...) The IDF had weeks to prepare for Friday’s border protests. It bolstered the border with additional troops and set clear and strict rules of engagement. But then a video comes out like the one that shows a young Palestinian man being shot while running away from the border. That alone has the potential to turn the tide against Israel. In principle, Israel is right – Hamas is trying to violate Israel’s sovereignty and force is, and will continue to be, needed to stop it. But, Israel also needs to be smart in how it employs force. There is no reason to give the world an excuse to take Hamas’s side."

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"Palestinians increase payments to terrorists to $403 million"

Die palästinensische Autonomiebehörde habe im vergangenen Jahr über 347 Millionen US-Dollar an Terroristen (bzw. deren Familien) ausgezahlt, die nach Angriffen auf Israelis verurteilt oder getötet wurden, berichtet Lahav Harkov. In diesem Jahr soll die Summe demnach um 56 Millionen US-Dollar erhöht werden. "Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter (Likud) (...) pointed out that PA President Mahmoud Abbas authorized the 2018 PA budget on Sunday, and that there is a PA law that says 7% of each budget must go to paying terrorists, or to their families, if they’re killed in the act. (...) Terrorists who have been sentenced to three to five years in Israeli prisons receive the average income of a Palestinian, about $580 per month. The families of those who committed more severe crimes and were involved in killing Israelis receive five times that each month for the rest of their lives. Terrorists receive more from the PA if they are married, for each child they have, if they live in Jerusalem or if they’re an Israeli citizen."

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"Int'l volunteers head to Syria's Afrin to fight 'fascist' Turkey"

Ein neues Video deutet Seth J. Frantzman zufolge darauf hin, dass die Kämpfe zwischen Türken und Kurden im Norden Syriens weitere ausländische Kämpfer anlocken könnten. "'We are a unit of international fighters from Rojava, we came to Afrin to fight the Turkish fascist state,' says a man with a French accent in a video posted online that allegedly shows international volunteers saying they have arrived in northwest Syria to oppose Turkey’s latest offensive. (...) A man with an American accent says his men recently moved into Afrin to fight 'Turkish terrorists' and he was there to 'defend the Kurdish people of Afrin.' He jokes that he has 'reenlisted' after the battles against ISIS for this new mission. Another member of the unit says on the video that he had fought ISIS in Raqqa last year alongside the YPG. A man speaking in Italian says that he has come to defend democracy and children."

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"The 'ISIS widows' and the myth of the innocent women jihadists"

Seth J. Frantzman spricht sich gegen eine allzu große Empathie mit den in Syrien gestrandeten Witwen getöteter IS-Kämpfer aus. Viele der extremistischen Frauen hätten eine aktive Rolle bei den Verbrechen ihrer Männer gespielt. "The thousands of Yazidi slaves that ISIS captured in August 2014 tell a different story of the ISIS women. One told a reporter from Alternet that some of the jihadists’ wives were 'worse' than the men. A Yazidi woman named Seeham said that the ISIS women would shout abuse at her. One of the women forced her to shave her body and 'brought sexy clothes to wear for her husband and helped him rape me by tying me to the bed.' (...) This is the face of ISIS and its army of women and men. In 2017 as the extremists are defeated, the remnants, like former Nazis, are running to play the victim. Foremost among them are women, who claim they were 'brainwashed' and pose as victims 'trapped' in Iraq and Syria. These are the foreign women who ran to join ISIS in 2014 when it was at the height of its power."

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"Netanyahu’s bold move against Europe"

Premierminister Netanjahu habe mit seiner Ausladung des deutschen Außenministers Gabriel eine überfällige Änderung der israelischen Haltung gegenüber Europa eingeleitet, meint Caroline B. Glick. "By refusing to meet with Gabriel, Netanyahu made clear that new rules will now apply to Europe and other Western governments that have joined Europe’s campaign against Israel. But his move – while important – is not enough. To ensure that his strategy of demanding that Europe treat Israel in a manner that accords with diplomatic norms, Netanyahu needs to take additional steps. Like his decision to deny Gabriel diplomatic cover for his meeting with anti-Israel groups, Netanyahu needs to deny Western governments diplomatic immunity for their other actions aimed at undermining the government’s capacity to carry out its domestic duties."

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"The coming shift: Hillary Clinton's plans for Israel and Iran"

Hillary Clinton würde im Falle ihres Wahlsiegs im November einen "dramatischen" Wandel in der Israel-Politik der USA einleiten, berichtet Michael Wilner nach Gesprächen mit Angehörigen des Clinton-Lagers in New York. "On the question of Iran, on the challenge of Middle East peace and in bilateral relations between the two countries, Clinton sees an opportunity to turn the page after eight years of turbulence – to bring disagreements in from the cold, back behind closed doors, and to rebuild trust between their leaders and peoples. Her team describes a former diplomat eager to reassert where Israeli and American interests converge. President Clinton’s focus, they say, will be to reconstitute an environment in which Israelis are willing to follow US leadership, motivated by the belief that tactics from the last administration proved counterproductive to its well-intentioned pursuit of peace. Their description of Clinton’s vision amounts to a notable rebuke of a sitting president of the same party, whose legacy relies on her success."

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"Explaining the Israeli Left"

Die Jerusalem Post hält die Warnungen linker Stimmen vor einer demokratischen Krise in Israel dagegen für eine "Hysterie", die auf die eigene Erfolglosigkeit und den irrationalen "Hass" gegen die religiöse Rechte zurückzuführen sei. "The Israeli Left doesn’t merely view itself as the political rival of the Right. They view themselves as engaged in a life and death struggle with right wingers – and particularly the national religious camp. And this death struggle is not based on political calculations. It is based on pure, irrational and uncontrollable hatred. (...) Today we are subjected to daily claims by Leftist politicians, activists and their media partners that Israelis are tired of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. His days in power are over. The 'public' now sees that the Left is the only side that brings hope so it behooves the government to listen to the 'public' and let the Left rule for a change. But to the dismay of the Left, the public won’t go along for another ride with them, no matter how much hysteria they promote."

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